Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beginning.

On Saturday I received an email from a woman whose daughter I used to teach. It's been five-six years since I last heard from her. I taught her daughter for two or three years (to the end of Book 1), and they ended their time with me by 'trying out' another teacher, asking for a Sunday morning lesson time and generally being the kind of nightmare student you dream of losing.

Her email mentions her now four-year-old twins and requests a lesson time, tells me that the older child still plays and attends a private school on a scholarship. I don't think this family is a good fit for Suzuki, and I can't in good conscience take on another student - I won't be able to continue their lessons when they begin school and there is no way in hell that I will teach Sunday morning, given that the other six days of the week are all working ones.

My dilemma is this: Do I refer her to a colleague beginning her Suzuki studio or simply give a polite refusal? Do I brief my colleague or stay quiet and let her deal with the parent on her own terms? I realise a lot can change in five years, and Mum may be seeking a Suzuki teacher because her older child has progressed so slowly through the traditional system (she's up to AMEB Grade three). Dilemma.

7 comments:

Linda McIver said...

Forewarned is half an octopus, they say. A new teacher may not have developed the defensive strategies she needs to protect herself from clients such as these, but she will need to develop those skills. It might be useful for her to be expecting trouble. A good learning experience. And trouble might never come.

IT IS ALLY said...

I would say refer, and maybe give her a gentle warning. But in the context that it was 5 years ago. I had a sunday morning lesson kid once and I wanted him to quit, or maybe lose his trumpet. Or both.

margg. said...

a dilemma indeed.

i'm sure you'll figure it all out.
xo

Anonymous said...

Polite referral, and if that doesn't work, fake your own death.

Cathy Hughes said...

Mmmmmmmm twins! Sounds like fun! You could refer on and hopefully they will be ok with a very limited schedule (ie. Saturday late morning and.......oh, that's right that's all I have right now!)and the craziness of being full-time carer of two mini tornadoes! Apparently that means I have all the time in the world to such parents!! lol

Anonymous said...

Well, I wonder what you have decided. I guess that it is about being true to and staying with your integrity. Go with what feels right for you.
xxx.

Anonymous said...

Another teacher will not think the same thoughts you do. Your interpretation of this parent mirrors your thoughts. Some teachers may love her.